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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Looking for a webcam/mic for Mac

Looking for a webcam/mic for Mac
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Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Dec 31, 2010, 01:42 AM
I have a Mac Pro and am looking for a Webcam/Mic. There are many on the market so I'm having a hard time deciding which one to get. I know some are HD and I'd be glad to get an HD webcam but that is not necessary. I have several questions:

-I have looked at mainly Logitech Webcams but are there other brands I should look at?

-I want one that will mount to the top of the monitor

-I use the Mac side mainly and would like to use it with Photobooth, iChat, and Facetime and possibly Skype in the future. There are times that I use Windows XP or Windows 7 through VMWare so I would like a webcam that has drivers for both Mac OS 10.6 and Windows XP/7

-The other feature I would like is one that has a built in mic. There are times I will only use the mic and not the video. Is it possible to get a webcam that works also in mic/sound mode only?

Thank you for your advice on the above.
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
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Dec 31, 2010, 12:02 PM
A Logitech or Microsoft webcam can fit the bill.

Logi's solitary Mac webcam is optimized for the Mac: its autofocus and auto-exposure is implemented in hardware, unlike the PC version. The flip side is this: despite being an "HD" camera, no meaningful Mac programs can use HD. They're limited to the VGA resolution of Mac OS X's webcam support. Also, this camera is strictly standards-based (UVC), so it will work without drivers in Windows 7 and Vista, but not in XP without drivers. If you need to know, I can test this, since I have this camera and various Windows VMs.

Alternatively, any camera that advertises as being compatible with Windows 7 or Vista is compatible with Mac OS X, without any drivers. The downside is that since most cameras implement exposure and focus in the Windows drivers, so you may not get the best images.

All webcams work just as microphones. I do this all the time. (Technically, a modern webcam is two devices in one housing: a USB camera and a USB microphone. They're supported in software totally independently of each other.)
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